Girls’ Getaway to Bluffton

This quaint, coastal town is the next big thing in Instaworthy trips. Here's South magazine's getaway guide to B-town, South Carolina.

Bluffton, South Carolina, the biggest little town in the South, is perfect for your next Girls’ weekend. Photos. Ian V. Santiago


Bluffton, South Carolina, the biggest little town in the South, is perfect for your next Girls’ weekend. Nestled beside the pristine waters of the majestic May River, Bluffton is the epitome of Southern grace and rustically refined charm.

Written by: Barry Kaufman/Lauren Flemming • Styled by: Ashley Borders • Photos: Ian Santiago

Along the storied blocks of Calhoun Street, you’ll find the soul of a small town that has stood for generations. Among its lavish storefronts you’ll find a paradise of shopping, dining and relaxation. In short, it was the perfect place to take the Blender Bombs girls for an enchanting day trip.

Once defined as a secluded enclave for quirky artists and oystermen, Bluffton’s evolution over the last few years has transformed it into an iconic getaway blending old-school Southern charm and new-school sophistication. You’ll find tradition here, and stories that go back generations. But you’ll also find boutique stores boasting the latest in refined Southern fashion, restaurants on the vanguard of the South’s culinary renaissance and a renowned sense of hospitality that has made this sleepy town a world-renowned destination.

So when South magazine decided to entertain the girls from Blender Bombs, we couldn’t think of a better spot. With the loan of a decked-out street-legal Moke (hot pink, of course) and a room at the Old Town Bluffton Inn to rest their heads, we set them loose on B-Town with a quest to find the best places to shop, dine and explore. What they found has us ready to plan our own girls’ weekend in Old Town Bluffton. 

(L-R) Julia Watkins, Kayla Braun, Helen Hall, Casey Oksenhorn, Stewart Parkhurst and Madeline Williams get set for their getaway around B-Town with Mokes from Carolina Rides

1. Old Town Bluffton Inn 

Setting a welcome mat right at the heart of town, Old Town Bluffton Inn indulges with the utmost in hospitality and charm amid lushly beautiful surrounds. Luxuriously appointed guest rooms, each custom-designed and drawing from French and Lowcountry influences, set the tone for an adventure that awaits just beyond the exquisitely charming lobby.

South’s photo shoot stylist, Ashley Borders, adds an insider tip: “The exceptional staff and luxurious setting makes you feel like a celebrity as soon as you walk through the doors. The bedding is part of their signature line and it is like sleeping on a cloud–and if you love it, you can purchase a set and have it shipped straight to your home! 

1321 May River Rd, Bluffton, SC | 843.707.4045 | blufftoninnsc.com

 

South Proof Edits 1

Julia Watkins starts the Blender Bomb girls’ weekend being pampered at Salon Karma. Makeup: Amy Velasquez. Hair and Makeup: Erica Horton. Hair: Madyson Mardon, Emily White & Madison Conner. Owner: Kim Seaglund

2. Salon Karma 

Before you and your squad hit the town, book an appointment at Salon Karma. Boasting stylists whose work has been featured in style magazines the world over, this Promenade icon will have each of you looking stylish and fierce. South’s stylist has high praise for this salon, reporting, “The moment you walk into Salon Karma you feel the sheer sophistication in the air. The wall of Oribe and Kerastase products definitely grabbed my eye…I would trust them blindly with my hair any day, and that’s not something I say lightly!” In addition to exceptional cuts, the salon also offers a wide range of specialty services from makeovers, bridal parties, braids and extensions. 

12 State Of Mind Street, Bluffton, SC | 843.757.5762 | salonkarmasc.com

 

Gigi’s of Bluffton co-owner, Anna Pepper Vaux Hewett selects some of her newest styles for the Blender Bombs girls.

3. Gigi’s Bluffton 

At the heart of historic Calhoun Street, Gigi’s Bluffton has been setting the bar for Southern style since it opened. Whether your style runs flirty, fun or fabulous you’re going to find your perfect ensemble here, and you’re going to have a ball doing it.

The team at Gigi’s made the South team feel right at home, as if they were reuniting with old friends. “They have a great selection of the perfect basics, but also have some awesome high-end design selections that bring an edgy flair that I love for any outfit. You can’t help but want to hang out all day there!” says Borders.

40 Calhoun Street, Bluffton, SC | 843.815.4450 | gigisbluffton.com

 

Moke

Kayla Braun poses with her perfectly coordinated Moke. Wardrobe: Gigi’s of Bluffton. Hair and Makeup: Salon Karma

4. Moke America Carolina Rides

Everyone in Old Town Bluffton has a golf cart. To truly stand out, hop into a Moke from Carolina Rides and turn heads. Channel your inner Brigitte Bardot-meets-Beach Boys in Moke’s iconic open-air cruiser. More than a standard cart, the Moke is a street-legal low-speed dream machine that offers beautiful style and versatility as you shuttle to your next adventure. 

Our stylist says, “Why would you not want to tour the Lowcountry in pure style? The Moke cars are so cute and allow one to take in the real sights, smells and sounds of Old Town Bluffton.”

59B New Orleans Road, Hilton Head, SC | 844.378.6653 | carolinarides.com

 

Dispensary

(L-R) Julia Watkins, Madeline Williams and Kayla Braun show of their Moke at The Dispensary before heading back around town. Wardrobe: Gigi’s of Bluffton. Hair and Makeup: Salon Karma

5. The Dispensary

With the girls now looking properly fierce, it’s time to visit the hub of Bluffton’s social scene. This lively tavern is located in the heart of historic downtown; live music, mouth-watering food and exquisite cocktails combine in an outdoor setting where Bluffton comes to see and be seen.

15 Captains Cv, Bluffton, SC  | 843.837.1893 | otdbluffton.com

 

Craft Kitchen

When in the South, eat Southern food. Craft Kitchen brings an elevated flair to tried-and-true bites like burgers and fried pickles but also offers a picture-perfect cheeseboard and fresh salads. There is something delicious on this menu for everyone in your group!

6. Craft Kitchen

When in the South, eat Southern food. Craft Kitchen brings an elevated flair to tried-and-true bites like burgers and fried pickles but also offers a picture-perfect cheeseboard and fresh salads. There is something delicious on this menu for everyone in your group!

7 Johnston Way, Bluffton, SC | 843.815.7755 | craftkitchen.online

 

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Blender Bomb’s owner Helen Hall under a wall of Signore Coastal Art’s unique pieces. Wardrobe: Gigi’s of Bluffton. Hair and Makeup: Salon Karma

7. Signore Coastal Art

Carrying on Bluffton’s tradition as a hotspot for unique artwork, Signore Coastal Art sees reclaimed wood transformed into a vibrant rainbow of hand-carved sea life sculptures and adorable pieces of statement furniture. Our stylist loves the solid-color handmade fish pieces, noting, “You can write a small note on the back or have everyone sign it as a commemorative piece. They make sweet hostess gifts or can mark a special occasion. They’re also a great alternative to flowers or wine and are a more personal gift at the same price point.” Browse the gallery or commission a custom piece for an endless reminder of your trip to paradise.  

14 Promenade St. #304, Bluffton, SC | 843.310.1690 | signorecoastalart.com

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